A San Pedro businessman is complaining of being unfairly targeted and is planning legal action against the San Pedro Town Council. Mario Servoni who opened a beachfront business in San Pedro town six months ago, called our News Centre today to complain that late last week he was forced to remove some of his equipment which puts him at a distinct disadvantage.
“I planted some trees with the approval which I thought was from the Mayor but it turns out it was from one of his workers, who is in charge of the beach and landscaping, Freddy Gonzalez and he told me that the Mayor had approved it. So, we went ahead and I planted the trees and there’s been a little friction between some of my neighbours because I got the number one rated restaurant by Trip Advisor and it’s been a little busy and I have been told that I am not Belizean by some of the people here. The Mayor’s cousin is married to a gentleman who has a guiding company here and he told me that the Mayor would listen to him and not me because I’m not even Belizean and if he wanted to remove my tables he would make the mayor do whatever he wanted him to do. So, the Mayor issued a letter to me based on what the Mayor told to me are four complaints: one from my neighbor who is being evicted now, one from an illegal vendor who the landlord doesn’t even want on their property and would not move (he seems to be protected by the Mayor) and one from a bar owner in front who complained about my sign being on the beach. When I asked the Mayor in a meeting, he wouldn’t show me any of the complaints and it was a little bit of a problem because I wanted to see what they were and I couldn’t understand what the issues were with me and like I told him I didn’t think it was a popularity contest with my neighbours on how I should run my business and if they didn’t like me then that’s too bad; what I’m providing here is a service to locals and to tourists who come here.”
Servoni says the back and forth between himself and the San Pedro town Council has been going on for about a month now. And while he was hoping for an amicable solution, the aggrieved businessman says that late last week, under threat of imprisonment, he was forced to give in.
“I had to take my tables off the beach and I’m furthering this, Courtney and Coye is representing me. The issue with the tables, I called Commissioner Wiley because Commissioner Nelson is out of the country and I spoke with him and he said he would get back to me and by three o’clock he didn’t get back to me so I called him and he told me that the CO of the station told him that I voluntarily moved my tables and I told him that’s not true and that I was threatened with being locked down if I didn’t move my tables and he said that wasn’t what he was told. I had my staff here while the policemen waited outside while I moved my tables and I called the landscaping company to move my trees. I opened about six months ago; I have to tell you that the tables, chairs, vendors on this island are astronomical – they are all up and down the beach; they are everywhere, in the public roadways, in the park and I am the only person that has been singled out for removal on the beachfront here.”
Following our conversation with Mario Servoni, Love News contacted San Pedro town Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Mayor Guerrero says that he is reserving public comments on the issue at this time because there is an impending meeting involving the Town Council, Servoni and other businesses in the immediate area where he operates to try and resolve the matter.